Busy election year includes new voting machines

— By Olivia Morley, Marietta Daily Journal,  December 22, 2019 — The 2020 elections will be particularly significant for Floyd County residents. Besides the presidential election, local voters will be choosing a new sheriff and a new Superior Court judge as well as a new 14th District congressional representative. Terms also are ending for state […]
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The 2020 elections will be particularly significant for Floyd County residents.

Besides the presidential election, local voters will be choosing a new sheriff and a new Superior Court judge as well as a new 14th District congressional representative.

Terms also are ending for state legislators, some county commissioners and school board members and several other constitutional officers.

And residents will be filling those seats by casting their ballots on brand new voting machines.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is predicting Georgia will have the highest voter turnout in state history, with an estimated 5 million voters expected to show up at the polls on Nov. 3, 2020.

With this in mind, the new voting machines have already been introduced to nine counties as “pilots” in recent municipal elections. Raffensperger said the results have been extremely positive.

Currently, the secretary of state’s office is collecting old voting machines from Georgia precincts and will be installing the new voting machines in their place. They’re already well ahead of schedule, according to Raffensperger, and the new machines will be installed at every Georgia voting precinct before the March 2020 presidential preference primary.

Recently, the League of Women Voters of Rome-Floyd County contacted the elections office to express their interest in hosting their own demonstration for local voters. Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady agreed and anticipates the demonstration will be held sometime after the first of the year.

Until then, here’s a brief rundown of the new voting process Georgia voters will experience when they show up to their respective precincts:

♦ The voter will present their ID and the touchscreen pollbook will scan the barcode on the back of the ID.

♦ The voter then signs the electronic elector’s certificate and the voter is given a voter’s access card.

♦ The voter access card is inserted at the ballot marking device and the voter fills out the ballot.

♦ After the ballot is completely filled out and has been reviewed by the voter, the device prints out a paper with a QR code and the person’s ballot results on it.

♦ The voter takes the paper ballot and inserts it in the tabulator, a machine that processes all of the ballots and puts it on one memory card for the entire precinct.

♦ The ballot isn’t truly counted until the paper ballot is inserted into the tabulator.